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Product Roadmaps - Tips on how to create and manage roadmaps

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This presentation is focused on two areas with respect to product roadmaps. Firstly, a roadmap is a not a loose collection of timings and features. Secondly, it is key to define a product vision, goals and strategy before creating a roadmap.

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Product Roadmaps - Tips on how to create and manage roadmaps

  1. 1. Product Roadmap How to best create and manage roadmaps?
  2. 2. Why this talk?
  3. 3. Not just features & dates
  4. 4. Take a step back! http://www.romanpichler.com/blog/agile-product-planning-vision-strategy-tactics/
  5. 5. Outline 3pm 3.10pm 3.20pm 3.30pm 3.45pm Start Intro Examples Middle Vision & Strategy Creating & Managing End Q&A
  6. 6. What’s wrong?
  7. 7. Outline Date Jan 10 Jan 10 Jan 10 Jan 10 Name Why roadmaps? Take a step back Create Manage Goal Understand roadmap benefits & pitfalls Focus first on product vision & strategy Discuss roadmap creation Discuss roadmap management Results Shared understanding of roadmap role & value Learned what product vision & strategy entail Clear on goals Remove features Understand pitfalls Happy to be flexible Learned how to monitor & update Metrics No. of participants still on hangout No. of participants realising need for vision & goals prior to creating a roadmap No. of times participants will apply a goal or theme oriented roadmap No. of participants who will rethink stakeholder comms and roadmap monitoring
  8. 8. Why roadmaps - Benefits & pitfalls
  9. 9. Provide direction
  10. 10. Pair objectives & strategy
  11. 11. Continuity of purpose
  12. 12. Facilitate collaboration
  13. 13. Help prioritise
  14. 14. Aid communication By Martin Eriksson: http://www.mindtheproduct.com/2011/10/what-exactly-is-a-product-manager/
  15. 15. Beware! Roadmap comms
  16. 16. Beware! Roadmap comms “The challenge for me with roadmaps is always the communication and buy in part from all parts of the business. I'm in a 23,000 people company, and is a challenge to have everyone agree or be informed properly.” Christian Miccio, VP of Product
  17. 17. Beware! Hard to predict
  18. 18. Beware! Hard to predict “If at all possible remove dates that are too far in the future. Try instead for a Q1, Q2, MVP3, MVP4, Set up. This means you can go for themes rather than actual features once dates become too grey to predict with accuracy. This helps mitigate changes you don't yet know are going to happen.” Gary Finnigan, Product Owner
  19. 19. Beware! Be flexible
  20. 20. Beware! Be flexible “Balancing the sales/marketing teams' needs for planned deliverables to talk about with our need for flexibility to adapt to market changes.” Emily Tate, Product Manager
  21. 21. Why roadmaps? Provide strategic and product direction Offers rationale for decisions, resource allocation and prioritisation Effective communication tool Facilitate stakeholder collaboration Create continuity of purpose
  22. 22. Take a step back http://www.romanpichler.com/blog/agile-product-planning-vision-strategy-tactics/
  23. 23. Vision
  24. 24. Vision “Based on my experience the biggest challenge is to validate the 'vision' behind the whole roadmap” Antti Suvanto, Product Management Consultant
  25. 25. Start with a vision - business
  26. 26. Start with a vision - business
  27. 27. Start with a vision - product https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/VisionStatement
  28. 28. Start with a vision - business
  29. 29. Start with a vision - business
  30. 30. Start with a vision - product Short: “Create a scalable set of tools and services which help our partners to sell as many products as efficiently as possible.” Long: “To provide an end-to-end partner experience around those tools required by partners to solve their critical business needs or workflow issues, irrespective of the number and types of platforms they sell on.”
  31. 31. Start with a vision Think big – A good vision is lofty and aspirational A shared vision – Create a common sense of purpose which is shared widely across the company Motivating – Outlines product benefits for others Use for decision-making – Use your vision as guide when making business or product decisions Distinguish between vision and strategy – A vision should not be a plan that outlines how to reach a goal
  32. 32. Take a step back “Making the complex easy and simple” “Biggest challenge is getting budget approval without committing to delivering features by dates” Stephen Sherwin, Product Manager “Getting stakeholders to accept that referencing themes and user problems or even KPIs you want to improve is a better way to construct a roadmap than listing features” James Henson, Head of Product Ryan Frederick, Product Consultant
  33. 33. Goals / OKRs
  34. 34. Goals / OKRs “Make sure the problem is identified and understood across the teams before the roadmap is drawn up” Simon Cohen, Product Manager
  35. 35. Goals / OKRs
  36. 36. Goals / OKRs Objective: Enable Not On The High Street (‘NOTHS’) sellers to make product and business decisions based on their NOTHS performance data Results: NOTHS partners make data informed decisions before and throughout Christmas ’15 NOTHS partners benchmark their gross turnover stats as we believe this will help them make product decisions
  37. 37. But … Don’t forget about strategy, ‘the bit in the middle’ What problem are we trying to solve and for whom? We believe our partners have a need to understand how their products are performing on our platform. We believe they currently suffer from a lack of transparency, making it hard to make decisions. What is the outcome we are trying to achieve and why? We believe that having real time access to performance data will enable partners to make quick decisions about e.g. their stock levels, products to remove or extra staff to hire. We also believe it will remove some of the strain on our account managers who currently spend a lot of time generating reports for partners.
  38. 38. Strategy – ‘Bit in the middle’ https://blog.intercom.io/talk-product-strategy-saying/
  39. 39. But … Don’t forget about strategy, ‘the bit in the middle’ (cntd) What are the competition doing? Our competitors are providing sellers access to sales stats, reason why partners expect more transparency from the platforms they sell on. We therefore believe that providing data is therefore a basic hygiene factor. What does success look like and why? At least 50% of our 5,000 partners viewing their performance data within 3 months from release to make decision and using the data to make decisions on e.g. stock levels and staff hiring.
  40. 40. So what … We believe our partners have a need to have access to their real time sales data, so that they can make critical business and product decisions on an ongoing basis We believe our partners need to benchmark their real time sales data, so that they have more context before making decisions
  41. 41. Assumptions We believe these needs can be solved through a real time data dashboard which makes it easy for partners to view and extract all the data they need for their day-to-day operations We believe the no. 1 value our partners will get out of this dashboard is the ability to see at a glance how their business and products are performing
  42. 42. Hypotheses We believe that providing our partners with a real time data dashboard will help them make critical business and critical decisions We know this is true when we see an average of 5 visits of the data dashboard per partner, within 1 month following the first dashboard release We know this is true when we get qualitative feedback from 100 partners within 1 month following the first data dashboard indicating that they have used the data to make stock level decisions
  43. 43. Initial validation
  44. 44. Strategy - ‘Bit in the middle’ Business goals Revenue & profit User Experience Business model Value chain Customer segmentation Design principles Competitors User needs Technology Compliance Domain Geography Strategy Constraints
  45. 45. Take a step back Identify business vision-> create product vision Ensure product goals are SMART or OKRs Think about business and user goals to achieve Focus on problems first Don’t forget about strategy, the bit in the middle!
  46. 46. Create a roadmap
  47. 47. Create a roadmap “Navigating that ‘if I asked them what they wanted they would have said faster horses’ space in a way that you keep users, bring innovation and strengthen your own identity” Sherwyn Singh, Talent & Leadership Coach
  48. 48. Roadmap Wish list
  49. 49. Roadmap Customer only
  50. 50. Problems not features "If I had one hour to save the world I would spend 45 minutes defining the problem and only 5 minutes finding the solution” Albert Einstein
  51. 51. Unknown unknowns
  52. 52. Pitfalls when creating
  53. 53. What’s wrong? What is the context? Why are we doing certain things? Why not? What value are we looking to deliver and why? What business or user problems are we looking to solve, for whom and why? Don’t forget that your roadmap is a communication and collaboration tool!
  54. 54. Pitfalls when creating Common pitfalls when creating a roadmap: Why? - Just a collection of features and timings Dependencies - Not thinking about cross-product or team dependencies “Solution sickness” - Fixating on a feature or solution upfront
  55. 55. Facilitate learning “Working towards goals without getting fixated on specific features leaves room for learning as well. Over time one may learn more about the problems to be solved, and also possible solutions to problems. Going further one may even learn that the problem to be solved is somewhere else than originally thought, i.e. there is an even more important problem that needs to be solved, but the customer (or the solution provider) was not able to identify that in the beginning.” Stefan Baggström, Solution Architect
  56. 56. Goal oriented roadmap
  57. 57. Create a roadmap
  58. 58. Roadmap themes
  59. 59. Owning the roadmap Who typically creates and owns a product roadmap? Product Manager
  60. 60. Roadmap stakeholders Who typically influences a product roadmap? Stakeholders
  61. 61. Roadmap stakeholders By Janna Bastow: http://www.mindtheproduct.com/2014/07/product-roadmapping-prioritisation-portfolio/
  62. 62. Create a roadmap Don’t fixate on features; focus on problems, goals, assumptions or themes instead Important to not lose sight of measurable results Consider adding extra layers to allow for risks, dependencies and product discovery (‘unknowns’)
  63. 63. Manage a roadmap
  64. 64. Manage a roadmap “One of the challenges is around stakeholder management in the agile world. If it goes in a roadmap (and in some ways you have to question the term 'roadmap') with a month/quarter against it then that is often taken as gospel by stakeholder and reported on from them accordingly :-) At best the roadmap is really only accurate the day you drew it!” Alistair Harvey, Head of Product
  65. 65. Roadmap a one off
  66. 66. Roadmap Set in stone
  67. 67. Manage a roadmap
  68. 68. Roadmap updates
  69. 69. Manage a roadmap
  70. 70. Manage a roadmap
  71. 71. Product Roadmap - 3 things 3 things to take away: Take a step back before creating a roadmap A roadmap needs strategic context Stakeholder communication is critical
  72. 72. Thank you! @MAA1 https://www.linkedin.com/in/abrahammarc https://marcabraham.wordpress.com/ https://medium.com/@maa1
  73. 73. Image Credits http://psychics.lv/tag/clairvoyant http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/read-our-blog/communication-skills- and-cultural-differences-self-study-guide.html http://christianfilmmaker.com/the-vision-updates/ http://indianapublicmedia.org/amomentofscience/contortion-2/ http://naijatowncrier.com/4-awkward-situations-that-always-make-you-look-stupid/ http://www.morganmckinley.co.uk/article/greece-nation-unsure-its-direction http://www.mindtheproduct.com/2011/10/what-exactly-is-a-product-manager/ http://www.slideshare.net/ProductCampBoston/roadmapping-301- bruce-mc-carthy-productcamp-boston-may-2013
  74. 74. Image Credits http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_CA/the_ikea_story/working_at_ikea/our_vision.html http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/pages/choose-a-life-less-ordinary https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/VisionStatement http://www.businessinsider.com/googles-ranking-system-okr-2014-1?IR=T http://www.slideshare.net/wrike/power-your-business-with-okrs/2- What_are_OKRsOKR_stands_for http://www.romanpichler.com/blog/goal-oriented-agile-product-roadmap/ https://www.talentsquare.com/blog/recruitment-pitfalls-exist-might-know/
  75. 75. Image Credits http://www.frplegal.com/unpainted-roads-are-creating-problems-for-drivers/ http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Christmas-Wish-List http://amerf1can.com/?p=3670 https://www.mailpile.is/blog/2015-04-27_Roadmap_to_v1.html https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Road_construction_in_progress.jpg http://agilesyndicate.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/inspect-and-adapt-your-retrospective.html http://www.thetimedoctor.co.uk/time-management-rule-prioritisation/
  76. 76. Image Credits http://www.bahr.net.nz/the-bookshelf/ http://pencils.com/pencil-erasing-techniques/ http://phil-graham.com/personal-trainers-answer-99-9-every-question-asked/ http://webhomes.com/who-we-are/our-purpose http://www.romanpichler.com/blog/agile-product-planning-vision-strategy-tactics/ http://blog.lyft.com/lyftforgood/ http://scrumandkanban.co.uk/the-iron-pyramid/ http://www.mindtheproduct.com/2014/07/product-roadmapping-prioritisation-portfolio/

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